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Forex Market Drivers

Rising interest rates strengthen that country's currency

A common way to think about interest rates is how much it's going to cost to borrow money, whether for our mortgages or how much we'll earn on our bond and money market investments. Interest rate policy is a key driver of currency prices and typically a strategy for new currency traders.

Fundamentally, if a country raises its interest rates, its currency prices will strengthen because the higher interest rates attract more foreign investors.

For example, higher rates in the Eurozone may prompt U.S. investors to sell U.S. dollars and buy bonds in Euros. Similarly, if interest rates increase in Switzerland, those investors may decide to sell their Euro-bonds and move into bonds in Swiss francs (CHF), driving Euros down and Swiss francs up.

Oil-dependent countries weaken as oil prices rise

Just as airlines and other oil-dependent industries are hurt by rising oil prices, so are the currencies of oil-dependent countries like the U.S. or Japan, both of which are massively dependent on foreign oil.

If you believe oil prices will continue to rise, you can consider buying commodity-based economies like Australia or Canada or selling oil-dependent currencies.

»Next: Economic Indicators 101

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